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The Numbers Are Clear: Weis Has To Go

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Charlie Weis is the worst head coach in the history of Notre Dame football. Although the years since Lou Holtz retired have been rough — falling short of the "gold" standard the school always holds itself to in the sport — not even the Tyrone Willingham era can match Weis' reign of ineptitude.

He is an outstanding recruiter but this lone fact can no longer save Weis' job. In fact, given the influx of blue chip prospects that have flowed into South Bend during his tenure, his aptitude at recruiting seems to only give credence to the argument that Charlie Weis does not have what it takes to coach his football team where it counts, on the field.

Over at NdNation "The Rock" has put together a great fact sheet that gives the cold hard statistical evidence of Weis' incompetence without the analyzation. And believe me, that is enough. I cherry picked what are, in my opinion, the most relevant to examine, but which ever angle is taken the conclusion is obvious, unemotional, and gruesomely logical. Weis needs to be fired now.

Recruiting aside (we've already established Weis is an expert at this) there are three major on-the-field areas in which every coach must excel to be considered successful at the college level: overall regular season record, record against school rivals, and bowl record. While each coach may have varying degrees of success in any one of the three, their interconnectedness and importance are unavoidably tied to any coach's job security.

The Regular Season: Charlie Weis brought some instant success to the Irish, going 9-3 and 10-3 in his first two seasons with Ty Willingham's players. But in his third season, when the Irish fell to an abysmal 3-9 (the first nine-loss season in school history), it was Willingham's lack of recruiting effort and ability (especially on the offensive line) that was predominately blamed. Weis defenders (including myself) urged patience, citing that Charlie proved he could coach by succeeding with what Ty couldn't. It would take some time for Charlie to work in "his guys" but when he did everyone would see what his high octane offense would accomplish and the Irish would thunder back to prominence.

But over the last three seasons the Irish are under .500 (16-18) featuring Weis recruits. Although Charlie has usually taken care of the unranked teams on the schedule, his two loses to Navy standout as major embarrassments that are hard to live down. And the two-year stretch from 2007 to 2008 (10-15) was the worst period of that length in Irish football history, featuring the worst season in roughly 40 years.

Against ranked teams, or even simply teams with a winning record, the numbers are worse. In his four plus years leading the Irish Weis is 8-19 against schools that finished the season above .500. That .296 winning percentage is worse than notoriously bad Irish coaches Gerry Faust at 12-23 (.343), Ty Willingham at 12-15 (.444) and Bob Davie at 18-22 (.450). He has never beaten a team that has finished in the top 10 in the polls, only once beaten a team that finished in the top 25 (in 14 tries), and has never even beaten a team that has finished with less than 4 losses. In fact, Weis has lost to more teams that have finished outside of the top 50 than Faust, Davie, and Willingham combined. The situation is beyond bleak and the school's continued loyalty despite the failure perplexing.

The Rivalries: At a school with the long, deep tradition of Notre Dame, rivalries are an important part of the football culture. Weis' struggles against USC (0-5) have been well documented but he has not faired much better against rivals of a lesser status. Charlie has a losing record against Notre Dame's newest rival Michigan State, their oldest rival Michigan, and perhaps their fiercest rival Boston College. And although USC is currently a national power there is really no excuse for his constant futility against Pete Carroll's boys. His average margin of defeat against USC is 19.8 points, punctuated by the 38-0 destruction of '07, their worst defeat in the 79 years that the teams have played.

Bowl Games: In his first two season as head coach Charlie road Brady Quinn and company to two BCS Bowl berths. In the 2006 Fiesta Bowl Notre Dame was battered by Ohio State 34-20. The next season they were embarrassed by LSU, getting thumped even worse 41-14 in the Sugar Bowl. Since then the Irish have seen postseason play only once, beating the mighty Warriors of Hawaii in the 2008 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. And the only reason their 7-6 season even got them that far was because Notre Dame is still such a ratings draw. Quite a degeneration considering for many years the Irish would never have even accepted such a minor bowl invitation.

There is a plethora of other statistically bombastic figures that all add up to one indisputable fact; Charlie Weis is the worst head coach in the history of Notre Dame football. The time for waiting for his recruits to blossom and his system to take hold is over. Its been nearly five years and the Irish have shown no signs of progress despite a roster loaded with elite talent like Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate, and Michael Floyd. Irish fans like Charlie Weiss as a man and they desperately wanted this to work, But there comes a time when the obvious must be accepted and the necessary steps taken.

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